Scooter (illustrative)
Scooter (illustrative)iStock

Members of the late Rabbi Nissim Karelitz's rabbinic court on Sunday published a harsh letter warning against the use of electric scooters, which they called "a real danger."

"In recent years, the number of electric vehicles - bicycles and scooters - in our streets has increased and many of those using them act with horrific carelessness, which leads to physical injuries to pedestrians, and even to bloodshed, G-d forbid, such as what happened when Rabbi Avraham Edrat, of blessed memory, was hit and killed," Rabbi Sariel Rosenberg and Rabbi Yehuda Silman wrote in their letter.

The rabbis added: "Although the government has set several rules for those who ride these vehicles - such as it being forbidden for young people who are not yet 16 years old to use these vehicles. But unfortunately these rules are not kept at all, and the authorities make light of the rules and do not act to enforce them. And it is know what our rabbi, the Kehilot Yaakov, said, that we must keep traffic laws very carefully. And if our Sages would have made these rules, they would have been much stricter."

"Every person who uses these vehicles must be careful not to harm or be harmed. They must be careful about all of the precautions, not to ride on the sidewalks between pedestrians, and not to get pushed between cars on roads. And parents and educators must supervise, and not allow children who are not old enough to be responsible, or who are not acting with the required responsibility required for these dangerous vehicles, to use them. And parents who are not careful about this should know that they are responsible, at least from a moral perspective, for the damages if they are caused by their children."

Last week, data obtained from the National Authority for Road Safety showed that 62% of under-18s who ride electric bicycles were involved in an "almost-accident" in the past year, a year during which 21 electric cyclists were killed on the roads, along with 2 riders of electric scooters. Three pedestrians have been killed by either electric bicycles or scooters in 2021, and 356 people have been injured.